HAI Convention News

Guimbal Enjoys Steady Growth

 - March 3, 2016, 10:20 AM

Guimbal Helicopters (Booth 10137) hopes to boost deliveries of its two-seat Cabri G2 to 56 this year, up from 44 in 2015. The $370,000 two-seat Cabri was certified in 2008 and to date 140 have been delivered to customers in 26 countries with the fleet amassing 80,000 flight hours and no serious accidents.

The highest-time ship has accumulated more than 5,000 hours, and most of the fleet is used in flight training, with several ships flying 4,000 hours in less than three years. Ninety percent of Cabris have been sold into the training market. The first one to be delivered in Brazil was handed over three months ago and the first Canadian delivery will take place later this year. There is approximately a one-year wait for new orders.

Oregon’s Precision Helicopters is currently using four Cabris for flight training. Precision president David Rath reports that, compared to the company’s Schweizer S-300, the Cabris have a lower cancellation rate, lower maintenance costs and lower overall direct operating costs. Rath’s operation has flown individual Cabris up to 115 hours per month and they post a dispatch rate of 98 percent compared to the Schweizer’s 76.5 percent. Maintenance man-hours are 0.22 per flight hour compared to 0.83 for the Schweizer. Overall, through 2,000 hours of flying time, the Cabris have posted 33 unscheduled maintenance hours.

Guimbal founder Bruno Guimbal said the company is developing a low-cost air-conditioning option for the Cabri that is “95 percent completed,” new cabin ventilation, added power with the existing engine and new avionics options including an Aspen Evolution display. New mission equipment includes a cargo hook. Guimbal said the Lycoming O-360 engine (derated to 145 hp) is holding its 2,200-hour TBO well. He said the company is looking at many “exciting projects” but was not prepared to make any announcements, and hinted that a new helicopter was likely in the works.